Today I return from retreat. Ten beautiful women gathered together to create a space of self-exploration and renewal. There, I have been thinking about the second half of life and wrote this poem that rose out of my reading from Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr, and by conversations with the women on my retreat. In Falling Upward Richard speaks of our first half of life as a time of creating the container of our identity and the second half of life as being a time of allowing the container to be filled.
I am the potter molding the container of my life;
The five-year-old innocent finding school a refuge
Somehow knowing that even on the first day of Kindergarten
Her life formed with the clay of education.
I am the potter shaping the container of my life;
The twenty-year-old searching for beauty and finding
batik scarves and clothes that shine outer beauty
While reflecting beauty within.
Her life formed with the clay of deep self-care.
I am the potter casting the container of my life;
The thirty-year-old balancing family and responsibility
To-do’s galore, yet linked to the importance of connection.
Her life formed with the clay of the heart.
I am the potter throwing the container of my life.
The forty-year-old seeped in the sadness of sickness
Knowing that her strength alone would not hold
Her life formed by the clay of grace.
A pot formed by the wheel of kindness and the hands of love
Shaped, molded, kneaded to perfection.
Glazed in beauty and forged in a fire of passion and pain,
Emerging with gratitude
And open to be filled.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for teachers and teachers of literacy to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.